Justice is sometimes done, after all

// 15 August 2008

Readers will be familiar with the UK’s shocking 5% conviction rate for rape. Or, to put it another way, considering the high percentages of rapes that go unreported, the average rapist in this country faces only a 1% likelihood of being convicted.

But sometimes justice is done – and today’s Guardian includes the first-person story of one woman, who was attacked by a stranger, then well-supported by the police, and eventually saw the man who raped her sentenced to 10 years.

You can read her account in full here, but it may be triggering.

Comments From You

zak // Posted 16 August 2008 at 1:34 am

Given the subject matter this may sound weird but: what an inspirational, uplifting and important article.

And my best wishes (somehow there isn’t anything more easily appropriate to say) to the author.

JENNIFER DREW // Posted 16 August 2008 at 10:51 am

Unfortunately once again the Guardian has only focused on stranger rape not on acquaintance rape. Once again the reader will assume rape is easy to prove and yes women who have been raped by men will receive justice. I wish it were true but reality is it is not. Less than 6% of rape cases result in men being convicted of rape. This means rape is the easiest crime to commit and the easiest one to get away with.

When will the media focus on the real issues of why so many women who have experienced male sexual violence continue to be disbelieved and subject to institutional scepticism and not forgetting of course, antagonistic cross-examination by defence barristers. Rape myths have not gone away and all a man charged with rape has to do is claim ‘she consented because she knows me’ Immediately rape myths come into play and of course the woman is deemed to be a liar and making a false allegation.

Excellent this male rapist was convicted but he made the mistake of attacking a woman who is educated and a stranger. Many women are not in this fortunate situation but instead are deemed to be ‘sluts, drunks’ or ‘supposedly asking for a man to rape them.’

It is time the media ceases its lazy approach of opting for reporting stranger rape and focus on the real issue of male sexual violence against women which is predominantly committed by men known to women.

Rebecca // Posted 16 August 2008 at 11:55 am

What Jennifer said.

While it’s wonderful that the rapist in this case has been jailed and the victim has been able to receive some justice, it’s also a case of stranger rape: cases which are far easier to prosecute in this society. It doesn’t change that it’s acquaintance rape where the odds of being believed/actually getting justice are so extremely low.

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